Mardi Gras is right around the corner, and I thought it would be fun to make a traditional creole dish. Now I know a lot of you readers are not from the south, but trust me, all you need is Shrimp & Grits. Even my skeptical Kansas Princess agreed Shrimp & Grits is a great dish.
Mind you, I have never made shrimp & grits until now, only ordered it in seafood restaurants of the south. When I don't have a recipe, the first place I turn is to the good folks at Bon Appetite, they never fail to provide. I pulled this recipe from their website, and made a few minor adjustments.
1 cup yellow grits (not instant)
1 cup grated asiago cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 jalapeño, seeded, diced
1/4 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup 1/3" cubes tasso, andouille sausage, or bacon (if you don't live on the Gulf Coast you're going to have trouble finding the tasso, and andouille sausage, I used thickly sliced hickory smoked bacon)
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 lb of shrimp peeled, deveined (be sure they are wild caught you don't even want to know about the farm raised shrimp)
1/4 cup Abita Beer
1/4 cup low-salt chicken stock
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Bring 3 cups water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits.
Turn heat to low; gently simmer until grits begin to thicken.
Continue cooking, stirring often and adding water by 1/4 cupfuls if too thick, until tender, about 1 hour.
Stir in cheese, butter, and jalapeño, then cream.
Season with salt and pepper.
Make sure to keep the grits warm they will set into a mold if allowed to cool.
Cook bacon on a broiler pan in the over at 35o degrees for about 15 minutes. Allow bacon to cool, and chop into 1/2" pieces.
Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add bacon; sauté until fat begins to render. Add garlic and 1 tablespoon butter; stir until butter melts. Add shrimp. When garlic begins to brown, add beer and chicken stock. Simmer until shrimp is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; set aside.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet; swirl to melt and cover bottom of pan. Crack eggs into pan and cook until whites are just set but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes.
Divide grits among (4) bowls. Spoon shrimp mixture into center of grits. Top with egg. Sprinkle tarragon over.
I hope that all of you who have never had shrimp & grits will give this recipe a try. It really is one of the great dishes of the south.
Remember food is only good for you if you can eat it!